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'Book Hacking' institute comes to UCA

Posted: June 18, 2014 - 1:50pm

UCA will host a “book hacking” opportunity for those wishing to gain valuable skills in multi-touch digital textbook authorship on July 7-9 from 8-3:30p.m. in Mashburn Hall.

As the summer months come closer to the Conway area, professors and teachers alike find solace in their holiday, but for some this is the perfect opportunity to work on their new creation, a textbook.

To many professors the textbook is a blessing and a curse. The information presented is usually the same base, but explained in several different ways through the interpretation of the writer. As many professors may feel, they can do it better, and thus thousands of copies of the Biology 101 book have been developed.

In response to the professorial need to create new and personalized content of text, the University of Central Arkansas Department of Teaching and Learning alongside the Arkansas iTunes U initiative have developed a three-day workshop on textbook authorship. The training will be specifically covering multi-touch digital textbooks.

The course includes several tips and time saving tricks for those new to the digital textbook world. While the content is specific to the subject at hand, the unique designs and available features found within a digital textbook can be manipulated and created to develop an award winning and engaging text.

The course centers around the use of a free Apple resource application known as iBooks Author software that is found on Mac computers. Participants will learn, “how to create dynamic, engaging digital books that incorporate rich and interactive resources,” said the website.

For those instructors who choose to take the three day course, they “will receive eighteen hours of in-service technology training from the Arkansas Department of Education,” according to the website.

The institute is designed to address the abilities of each individual despite their level of expertise. Peer review will be a critical part of the institute in order to aid in the growth of each person involved.

A large scope of trainers will be present at the institute. These are Dr. Michael S. Mills, assistant professor, University of Central Arkansas; Anthony DiLaura, math teacher, Zeeland Public Schools in Zeeland, Michigan; Shelley Dirst, Director of the Arkansas iTunes U initiative; Harry Dickens, educational technology consultant; Jennifer Kimbrell, instructional technologist, North Little Rock School District; and Christie Toland, principal, Eastside Elementary School in Greenbrier.

The institute will be hosted in Mashburn Hall on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas July 7-9. For more information visit bookhacking.org or email info@bookhacking.org.

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